THURROCK’S major planning organisation has left a legacy of projects that have transformed the borough, it has been claimed.

Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation formally handed over its projects, as well as other assets, during a special localism ceremony at High House Production Park in Purfleet.

Planning powers will be transferred to Thurrock Council at the beginning of April and the Labour-led authority will continue to drive regeneration projects, including the Lakeside “town centre” scheme and Grays Learning Campus.

Speaking to officers, councillors and MPs, chairman Will McKee said the corporation has been instrumental in transforming planning policies.

He said: “Everyone at the corporation is immensely proud of the organisation’s achievements, in particular its strategic policy framework and the transformational projects we have developed and implemented.

“It has been a job of achievement and I pay tribute to all the people who have helped with that.

“All of us have formed a deep attachment to Thurrock and we remain excited, hopeful and committed about its future.”

Development Corporation officials highlighted the successes during its seven year time in the borough including the Port of Tilbury development, the London Gateway superport, Lakeside developments and High House Production Park.

Mike Butterworth, chief operation officer of Capital Shopping, praised the corporation for creating a prosperous and dynamic environment in Thurrock.

Junior Secretary of State for Communities Bob Neill MP added: “This is a story of success and the corporation has driven development to the next phase.

“The Thames Gateway is a leading light in localism showcasing the innovation, growth and regeneration it can inspire.

“The hard work of the corporation, the council and community in Thurrock has demonstrated the creativity and determination to make their local area a success.”

Speaking about the council’s future in developing Thurrock, leader John Kent said: “This will be our decade of delivery.

“We will work to transform the borough for the future and prosperity of Thurrock.”